Tag Archives: Christianity

Christians Should Support Gay-Marriage (Or At Least Leave It Alone)

Gay-Marriage1

**Edited 6/1/13; 6/2/13; 7/18/13; 5/14/14; 10/3/14

Growing up in a Christian household, I spent my upbringing believing in the standard Christian-Conservative values in my personal life, and politically. My outlook has changed since then, and after another lively debate via Facebook this afternoon, I thought it would be a good idea to share my arguments.

I’ll set up this post as an Argument vs Response. “Argument” in this case will be the stereotypical argument from an “anti-gay-marriage” Christian’s standpoint, and “Response” will be my own answers to make my case. Here goes:

Why Christians Should Support Gay Marriage (or at least leave it alone):

Argument: God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, so they could procreate. Pretty much every society throughout history has identified marriage as between a man and a woman because they can procreate.

Response: What does God say about procreation? In the first creation story in Genesis chapter one, God says, “Be fruitful and multiply.” There is a second creation story in the second chapter, where Adam and Eve appear.

It’s a safe assumption that according to the bible, man and woman were made by God with their reproductive organs in order to procreate, but it is not told by God whether this also means that humans must only have sexual and emotional relationships heterosexually.

Does Jesus say anything about procreation? No. He does, however, uplift eunuchs, who were despised because they could not procreate and because their bodies were altered.

We as humankind have progressed since the implication of marriage, understanding that marriage no longer serves as only a function of procreation/ preservation of life, but now is also used as a reflection of love and commitment. Many heterosexual couples marry only for love, only for commitment, only for procreation, or for any combination of the three. If you oppose a homosexual couple marrying for love or commitment because they cannot also procreate, then it stands to reason that you would similarly oppose heterosexuals who cannot procreate. This includes heterosexuals who choose not to have children, the marriage of heterosexuals who choose adoption-only, and the marriage of heterosexuals who are not able have biological children even if they wanted to (as with homosexual marriages). If procreation is the sole purpose of marriage, with love and commitment being secondary, then that restriction should be applied to all.

Argument: In Leviticus, the bible calls homosexuality an abomination, and those men should be put to death.

Response: A few things here. First of all, Christians widely believe that you can dismiss the laws of the Old Testament and Judaism as the “old way” to redemption, before Jesus came in the New Testament and changed the game- creating a “new way” to redemption, simply through him and his sacrifice on the cross. If that is to be believed, this verse is not applicable.

If you are going to apply this verse anyway, then remember that a few verses away from this one, eating pork is also called an abomination. If we were going to take this passage at its word, eating a ham sandwich and being gay are just as wrong.

Before you start to wonder about your salvation after this morning’s bacon and eggs, keep in mind that the Hebrew word translated “abomination” actually means “not customary” and implies a ritual breach rather than a moral one. Eating pork was not innately immoral for a Jew, but it was an abomination- because it was a violation of their holy rituals.

To just pick out one commandment to follow, stuck right in the middle of commandments telling you not to eat rabbits, plant two different seeds in the same hole or co-mingle your crops, or to wear linen and wool together, that’s selective reading.  Any Christian would tell you that the bible does not work this way.

Argument: God burned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of homosexuality, and the same destruction will surely be upon our country for it as well (especially if we legalize gay marriage).

Response: Bible scholars, historians, pastors, and priests stress the importance of context when interpreting the bible. These stories have been widely taken out of historical context and mis-translated when used to make this argument.

Throughout the Old Testament, Sodom is held up as a lesson in wickedness that deserves utter destruction for reasons other than homosexual acts. Examples:

  • Ezekiel 16:49-50, “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.” (Remember that abomination translates to “violation of ritual”, so this is not necessarily a direct reference to homosexuality, rather, a reference to one of many defined abominations in the Old Testament, such as eating fish.)
  • Isaiah tells of lack of justice.
  • Jeremiah emphasizes moral and ethical laxity.
  • The Deuterocanonical books identify the sin as pride and inhospitality.
  • In Ecclesiastes16:8 the sin is recognized as pride: “He did not spare the people among whom Lot was living, whom he detested for their pride.” In the New Testament, too, there is a refernence to Sodom and inhospitality.
  • In Luke 10:10-13, Jesus talks about cities that are inhospitable to his disciples. He warns: “…it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.” It’s not until the very late books of-
  • 2 Peter (2:4) and Jude (6), that sex is considered a sin of Sodom.

These later books were written several generations after the deaths of Jesus and the apostles and were talking about transgression of the natural order of life when angelic and human beings have heterosexual relations- a major concern to the popular Stoic philosophy of the time.

Not only are there no references to homosexual acts when Scripture refers to Sodom, there are no references to Sodom when the Scriptures refer to homosexuality. There are several biblical passages that some have misunderstood as condemning homosexual acts (because of the word “abomination”, which again, translates to “not customary”). Not one of these gives Sodom as an example of the result of homosexual behavior. Considering how often Sodom was used as an example of the result of wicked behavior, it’s apparent that biblical times did not see homosexual acts as the important lesson of the destruction of Sodom.

So how did the lesson of Sodom become so identified with homosexual acts that the very word for one of those acts became “sodomy”? The answer is in the Hebrew word: yãdhà.

Yãdhà has two meanings: “to know” and “engage in coitus.” Of 943 times yãdhà is used in the Old Testament, only ten times is it used to mean sexual intercourse, and all of these are heterosexual coitus. The Old Testament uses the word shãkhabh to mean homosexual acts and bestiality.

Lot was a resident alien in Sodom. When Lot invited strangers into his home, the townspeople approached Lot and demanded “Bring them out unto us, that we may know them (yãdhà).” Judging from the biblical references we’ve just discussed, it seems the townspeople were asking to get to know the credentials and intentions of strangers in their city.

The absolute sacredness of a guest was a principle well known to Lot. Lot also understood the way crowds give in to hostile acts against outsiders (see Judges 19:1- 21:25 for a similar tale of hostility to strangers.) So he protected his guests and refused to hand them over to the crowd. When the crowd insisted, he offered his two daughters as the most expedient diversion for a hostile situation.

For 2,000 years, until the last century before Christ, Israel understood the lesson of Sodom to be one of pride and hospitality.

Perhaps of even more interest- in the same narrative, Lot offers his two virgin daughters to an unruly mob to be sexually assaulted, and later, Lot’s two daughters get their father drunk and become pregnant by him, and bear his children. None of these actions are described as particularly sinful.

Perhaps one of the most misleading terms in English is the use of the word sodomy to describe anal penetration and/or male homosexuality. The mere fact of this linguistic development sealed that Sodom was destroyed because of homosexuality in the minds of many English speaking people. The Church’s false teaching on this issue is an abomination and travesty, not loving homosexuals that are unfairly condemned by this ignorance.

God appeared to Abraham telling him that he and Sarah would have a child and they were going to investigate the wickedness in Sodom & Gomorrah. Thinking God would destroy the cities, Abraham made a deal with God: that He would not destroy the cities if 10 righteous people could be found in Sodom where Abraham’s nephew Lot lived.

God sends two angels to Sodom, where Abraham’s nephew, Lot, persuades the angels to stay at his home. Genesis 19 records that “all the people from every quarter” surround Lot’s house demanding “to know them”. It was common in those times to use violent and brutal rape as a way to humiliate and establish power over another, not unlike in some prison situations today. It is also done by heterosexual males, which is obviously very unnatural for them. This was part of the terrible acts of pederasty, the opposite of today’s loving homosexual natural relationships.

Lot attempts to protect the visitors sent by God by offering his two virgin daughters to be raped. The people of Sodom refuse them and the angels render the crowd blind. Lot and his family are then rescued by the angels as the cities are destroyed.

To Western cultures, hospitality is far different than what it meant in biblical Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries. Today, only certain Arab groups- like Tuareg survivors or rural areas of Magreb- still use it, but it’s deeply present in most of these cultures 20 centuries before… especially in Hebrew Biblical nations.

Hospitality, in these cultures, meant that if a person asked you for it, you were completely compelled to protect your visitor- even if that meant losing your property, family or life. Although today it may seem impossible, this DID work for centuries. It isn’t strange if we think of it as a survival strategy: you never know who will need hospitality, specifically in hard lands or times. What Lot did was act as his culture required him to.

ALL of Sodom’s people participated in the assault on Lot’s house; in no culture has more than a small minority (7-10%) of the population been naturally homosexual. Therefore it can be assumed most of the violators were heterosexual. Also since there were “young and old” would indicate that someone must have been having heterosexual sex to produce the young!

Lot’s offer to give his daughters to be raped suggests he knew the crowd had heterosexual interests- in fact offering young women for sexual hospitality was common.

I’ll stress again that even if homosexual rape was what the people were after, it would have been to defile the strangers unnaturally between mostly heterosexual males against another heterosexual male as in pederasty. This rape attempt would be to humiliate them. In the eyes of the law today, and in our own customary understanding, rape is not considered an expression of sexuality. It is known to be an expression of power and dominance- similar to aforementioned rape in prison, and in warfare, even today. This has no resemblance to same-gender relationships between consenting adults, and has nothing to do with loving, mutual homosexual love which was clearly not the reason for God’s destruction of Sodom.

God spared Lot and his daughters from the destruction of Sodom. Genesis 19:33-36 goes on to say how the daughters got Lot drunk and committed incest with him. Would God destroy two cities for homosexuality and save these people so they would go right out and commit incest?

Homosexuality can not be called one of the sins of Sodom, Gomorrah or Gilbeah since it is not in any of the lists of their sins given in the Old Testament. Ezekiel 16:48-50 lists the specific sins of Sodom as pride, plenty, laziness, uncaring for needy, haughty and worshiping idols – which was an abomination – not homosexuality.

Argument: Children do better with a solid family foundation that includes a mother and father.

Response: There is no proof showing any clear difference between children raised in heterosexual relationships and same-sex relationships, as is evidenced by a meta-study of nineteen different LBGT studies, and in fact, some studies (like this one: http://www.frc.org/issuebrief/new-study-on-homosexual-parents-tops-all-previous-research) suggest that they turn out better in numerous ways.

Since gay adoption is not legal in all 50 states, and allowing homosexuals to adopt is also a fairly new concept, any study or set of information that you might find to suggest that children are better off being raised by a heterosexual couple is hardly reliable. Here’s pro-LGBT study that touches on adoption by homosexual couples- http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/09/25/us-adoption-children-idUSTRE58O3MK20090925

If you refuse to acknowledge the data which opposes your beliefs on this topic, any data used to justify your beliefs are also therefore invalid, unless you have some proof to show that the studies done on the opposing side were somehow flawed, or unscientific. (They weren’t. Feel free to check.)

If children having a stable home is the main crux of your concern, then denying homosexual couples the benefits of 1,100 federal laws can only harm the children they will raise. Not allowing those children the same health benefits, family care benefits, and survivor benefits can only be a detriment to the upbringing and care of a child.

An interesting argument from Freakanomics (link here) shows that higher abortion rates directly correlate with lower crime, lower infanticide rates, less teen drug use, and less teen pregnancies. The theory behind these results is that with less unwanted pregnancies (which usually come from lower-income areas) comes less troubled youth (common sense). Troubled youth are much more likely to get into things like sex, drugs, and crime. When abortion was legalized in this country, crime rates among the would-have-been-born generation dropped astronomically.

Don’t mistake this as an argument for abortion. Simply, it’s an argument proposing the psychological (and financial) detriments of unwanted pregnancies and young people who are not ready to be parents. These detriments are not just on a personal level, for the individuals born into this situation- but on a national level, because troubled upbringing leads to troubled adults, who end up contributing very little good (and a lot of bad) to society as a whole.

Now here’s where it gets interesting: with homosexual parenting, there is no such thing as an unwanted child. There are no mistakes, no accidents. That simply is not possible. A homosexual couple who chooses to raise a child is a couple who is financially and emotionally ready (and old enough) to become parents. This fact is ensured by an extensive and costly adoption process, as well as expensive surrogate/sperm donor and implantation programs. The child, therefore, is always raised in a well-off home with people who want them, love them, and worked very hard to get them. Because of this, homosexual couples are always able to raise well-adjusted children who are a positive contribution to society (studies back this up). These facts are unfortunately not true for a large number of heterosexual couples.

Argument: I am standing up for what I believe. The bible says homosexuality is a sin, and I do not support that.

Response: Since we’ve already addressed that the Old Testament’s statements on homosexuality are mistranslated, misinterpreted, and taken out of context, let’s skip straight to the New Testament. Homosexuality is never addressed by Jesus in any of the canonic Gospels. What Jesus does talk about over and over again is oppression. Whether it was of the poor by the rich or of the powerless by the powerful.

One of the few stories about Jesus that mentions any kind of sexual sin is found in chapter 8 in the Gospel of John. Here we find a woman who had committed adultery (forbidden by the 7th commandment), but Jesus was not concerned with her sexual indiscretion. His focus was on the townspeople who wanted to stone her to death. So even in this case of sexual sin (adultery, in this case, that was clearly forbidden by Jewish law), Jesus came to the defense of the “sinner.” When he challenged the mob by saying “whoever was without sin should throw the first stone”, the people went away one by one. Then he told the accused woman that he did not condemn her. Jesus stood up for the persecuted.

There are only a handful of passages in the bible that actually deal with same-sex intercourse and none of them deal with it directly. It is always in a larger context of ritual purity, rape, prostitution or pedophilia; in other words, they are presented in situations where someone is being exploited or sexually abused. Again, same-sex intercourse is never addressed in the context of two mutually-consenting adults.

All of the Christian scriptures that seem to address same-sex intercourse are attributed to one person: the apostle, Paul.

In his first letter to the Corinthians, he writes,“Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6.9, NRSV)

And in his first letter to Timothy, Paul writes, “Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it legitimately. This means understanding that the law is laid down, not for the innocent but for the lawless and disobedient, for the godless and sinful, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their father or mother, for murderers, fornicators, sodomites, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.” (1 Timothy 1.10, NRSV)

The word in both of these passages that is translated into English as “sodomite” is the Greek word arsenokoitais. It is a very tricky word to translate because Paul seems to be the only person ever to have used it. It is literally not found anywhere else to our knowledge in ancient Greek writings. A literal translation of this word would be a man with many beds or the more direct version, a man who likes to have sex. This implies simply a promiscuous person—not a gay person.

Since the meaning of arsenokoitais is more than a little vague, responsible translators (such as in the NRSV) have used the similarly-vague English word “sodomite”. But even sodomy is losing its sexually vague meaning as it has begun to evolve into a word for anal intercourse (which has only added to the confusion of this issue). A better word for modern translations might be “slut”, but this word unfortunately usually implies a female whereas Paul’s passages refer specifically to men. There is simply no word in the English language that means “male slut”. All of this is useful, however, to illustrate the sexist bias our culture gives to men. Promiscuous women are called sluts whereas promiscuous men are called studs? It’s an interesting detail to note.

Unfortunately, to make this problem even worse, there are some very irresponsible translators (e.g. NIV and New Living) that have begun to use the English word “homosexual” for the Greek arsenokoitais. This is very irresponsible because now a lot of relatively unknowing Christians use these poor translations and say, “See? It says right there: homosexuality is a sin!”

The only other passage in the New Testament that addresses same-sex intercourse is in Paul’s letter to the Romans where he writes, “For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error. (Romans 1. 26-17, NRSV)

This may be a stretch for most, (even myself who can poke holes in it with examples of pedophiles, etc) but the argument could be taken further to say that if we read these passages carefully, we see it is not passion that is bad, but degrading passions. It is not intercourse that is frowned upon, but unnatural intercourse. In other words, if you are engaging in sex acts that don’t feel right for you, then you should stop. For a heterosexual, it would feel unnatural to engage in same-sex activities. But for a gay man or a lesbian, one could argue that the opposite is true- that for gays and lesbians, the natural thing for them is same-sex intercourse.

If you truly felt the need to stand up for what the bible calls a sin (which homosexuality is NOT a part of, in correct context historically), you should also be against the legality of divorce, adultery, and all the other things government allows that the bible has spoken out against or labeled as a sin. If you are not going to stand up against these things politically, then you are a hypocrite, and Jesus spoke out against political and religious hypocrites often. You might say that you “have to start somewhere”, but if you’re only starting with what’s relevant on the ballot, it is still hypocritical to be publicly protesting only one social issue.

At the risk of being offensive, I’d call it just plain lazy to take the easy route of having the politicians do the thinking for you on which issue should be voted on and not without any push whatsoever.

Argument: This country has had its moral fabric ripped out from us in the last two decades. According to history, when a country loses God, all is finished after it.

Response: Historically this is incorrect. We already went through Sodom and Gomorrah, but technically it could stand to reason that even if it wasn’t for homosexuality, God still could have destroyed the cities because of their sin (according to the bible). Unfortunately, the argument doesn’t hold up regardless, because the only country that has withstood the test of time is China- which has been around for at least 5,000 years without ever being a Christian nation or follower of Yahweh.

I’ve heard it said that Israel is an example, but there were thousands of years in between its destruction and becoming a nation once again. You can say that the bible predicted that, and that’s fine. But the bible predicting Israel’s reconstruction as a nation is not the same as Israel withstanding the test of time. So this argument is definitely false.

Argument: Marriage is a religious institution, defined by the church and recognized by the government. Therefore, the government has no right to redefine it.

Response: By making any laws giving benefits (or otherwise) to those married, the government needs to define what constitutes a marriage in order to give them those rights. The recognition of marriage by the government therefore alters the previous precedent that marriage exists only within religion’s bounds. Proof of this is that people are allowed to marry each other in front of a non-Christian judge in a courthouse, versus being married by a priest or pastor in a church.

The very act of having these laws in place makes it so that each separate institution has the freedom to define it. If these definitions clash, due to the separation of church and state, neither has the right to come in and tell the other that they’re doing it “wrong”. They each have the right to define it independently of the other.

If marriage was strictly for Christians or religious people, why are those who aren’t Christians or religious allowed to marry, without opposition or public outcry? Possibly because Christians enjoy the legal benefits of marriage the same as non-Christians do, so there is no real opposition where there should be- if the church wants to define marriage.

Now we have another problem. Under both these definitions, non-Christian, non-religious heterosexual couples marry each other all the time. If marriage is open to everyone except homosexuals because the church believes homosexuality to be a sin, why is that particular sin discriminated against, and not any other sin? Murderers, liars, thieves, adulterers.. they all get to marry in the face of their sins. Why not homosexuals? The fact that there is one very specific, singular group that is discriminated against is called “oppression”. It is not oppression when a church defines marriage as between one man and one woman, as this falls under freedom of religion. It is, however, oppression when there is a law saying that marriage is between one man and one woman.

As far as redefinition goes, marriage has already been redefined multiple times throughout history. Marriage used to be one man and multiple women. Marriage used to be a way to exchange property between two families. Marriage used to be between brother and sister to keep the royal bloodline pure. Marriage used to be between children. Marriage used to be only for people that were the same skin color.

Marriage used to be a lot of things, many of them oppressive towards women and minorities. In this case, marriage by law is oppressive in our society to LGBTs, as their sexuality is the singular reason they are not allowed to legally marry. Since the government DOES in fact have every right to change this oppressive law, in our country of freedom, that most certainly must happen.

Argument: This is about the legal rights for and within the church. It becomes about the state telling the church what its rights are- like a church could not discriminate about hiring a pastor because he is gay. And if they did, that church could be sued.

Response: Legalizing gay marriage is not the same as requiring pastors or priests to conduct a marriage ceremony without their consent, nor is it telling any church- in any denomination- who they can or cannot hire, as this also falls under the “freedom of religion” category. This would NOT be separation of the church and state, and any person would support you and understand you if you were against that happening. If a person believes in freedom of religion, you can bet that that also applies to you and yours in this case.

Argument: This is a moral issue and not a civil rights issue.

Response: Because (as shown in a previous response) we see that marriage is in fact, both a religious institution, and a governmental institution- free to be defined by both- the church’s determination to have a say in the government’s definition is overstepping.

Over one-thousand federal laws (and varying numbers of state laws) that benefit a married couple are a right, given by law, to the couple who chooses to marry. If there is discrimination when it comes to who is allowed to marry- and therefore receive these rights (as also shown in aforementioned response)- it has now become a civil rights issue.

Argument: You are either for gay marriage, or you are a “bigot” or “persecuting”. The argument is set up in a way that you are a hater who stands up against other people’s rights. It only gives you one option. That’s like making a petition that says, “Vote to make tax payers pay 5% of their income to starving children, or vote to make starving children continue to starve.” There is obviously only one way to answer that without looking like the bad guy. How the argument is set up, it’s persuasive logic. I am not hating or persecuting anyone, I am standing up for what I believe.

Response: In your example, they would be asking you to do something different with your life. In that case, pay more taxes. Gay marriage is not comparable to that because no one is asking you to do anything different in your own life.

Since the issue has nothing to do with you, it is not persuasive logic. Its lack of applicability to your daily life, and it’s great applicability to someone else’s daily life, automatically means that your opinion is either for those people’s choices or against them. That’s the single reason why it’s labeled as things like “persecution” and “bigotry”- because your opinion reflects the judgments that you have on other people’s choices.

If this WAS personal for you, and we WERE asking you to do something different with your life, all of us would argue back and forth about why these things should or shouldn’t be voted for, but those words would never be involved.

Argument: Homosexuality is a choice, not predisposed via Nature or Nurture.

Response: First things first- so what? That argument is simply trying to explain why your morality should be forced upon those with different morality. But in no way does the difference between choice or predisposition justify outlawing it.

Secondly- what if it’s true that none of these people are born gay, or bisexual, or necrophiliac, or sociopathic, or anorexic, or OCD, or ADD, or any other personality trait/disorder that could exist in a person, like you say? Yet society, after thousands of years of a more civilized form of culture (and constantly progressing, as it still is now with this issue), has been able to make a distinction between what is harmful and what is not? Certainly we’ve seen examples of that evolution in the last century.. Things that have been touched on in this post already, like women’s rights and racial segregation. Perhaps this is the basis behind politics and law enforcement: to move society forward, humankind forward, in a way that maximizes progression in every form and minimizes the threats to it. Murderers, thieves.. They’re outlawed because they threaten that progression. Women, it was eventually decided, did not. Mixing races and allowing them the same rights, it was decided, did not. Homosexuality, it can certainly be decided, does not. In no way does homosexuality threaten the progression of our society, and therefore can and should exist without prejudice.

Argument: The separation of church and state is not listed anywhere in the Constitution.

Response: The notion of the separation between church and state comes from a letter that Thomas Jefferson (a founding father) wrote, and that is correct, it does not appear in the Constitution. What the Constitution’s First Amendment DOES say on the matter, however, is that the government shall make no law “respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” of which, the prohibition of gay marriage does BOTH. Hence my arguments that the government either stepping completely out of the matter or allowing all consenting adults to marry freely as the most moral and constitutional options.

Argument: God created and defined marriage first, therefore the government does not have a right to define it, even if it wants to.

Response: What does God say is the purpose of marriage? In Genesis 2:18 God says, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.”

What does Jesus say about marriage? When asked whether divorce is permissible or not, he says that a man leaves mother and father and becomes one flesh with his wife. Jesus never spoke about homosexuality. (Divorce was permitted, by the way, because men “were so hardhearted.”)

One also has to consider that by that logic, if God existed before religion, then other religions stole the idea of “God” from Christianity (or from Judaism). So then, why is freedom of religion allowed if it was stolen from Christianity, when freedom of marriage isn’t allowed because it was stolen from Christianity? The Crusades tried to make both of those illegal, but I hardly think any Christians stand by that kind of “political action” today.

If you are against the government having any laws regarding marriage altogether, then the government would not have a right to define it, but all peoples and all beliefs would have a right to define it privately and separately, and gay marriage would exist freely.

Argument: What would Jesus say to the individual engaging in these acts? That is all that matters here.

Response: All of these questions we are asking are extremely relevant is you are concerned with their morality, and therefore, their salvation.

1 Corinthians 5:12-13 says, “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? …God will judge those outside.”

Voting won’t change their relationship with Jesus. Let what Jesus would say about their personal life stay between them and Jesus. Just like the bible says, they have the free will to choose to follow the Scriptures or not. Sorry if you don’t like it. It’s not biblical to make that your problem. You are called to love and accept as Christ did: that’s all.

Does that mean you should never vote, never have an opinion, and never be politically active? No, of course not. To take it to mean that would be quite a stretch. But it does mean that you cannot hold non-Christians to Christian standards. Only other Christians can and should be lovingly called out. Non-Christians should be lovingly accepted, that they may see Christ’s love through you (John 13:35).

How are you, as a Christian, representing Jesus? And how are you, as a Christian, going to reach those who aren’t? 

Asking what Jesus would say to them is not your job or what you should be concerned with. Those two questions are your job, and what you should concern yourself with.

Argument: They deserve our love, yes, but that doesn’t mean I have to support their lifestyle.

Response: Voting for gay marriage is not the same as supporting it, nor is it “allowing” it to exist. It’s not your job or the government’s to allow OR deny gay marriage- and I hate to break it to you, but homosexuality will still exist with or without support.

Voting for gay marriage is your realization that you cannot change its existence, while also choosing to vote against discrimination, without fear for our country from the wrath of God. (All of which you can confidently agree with after reading the arguments here, and upon further research yourself.)

Loving others without condition is recognizing that all deserve God’s love and your acceptance whether they call themselves Christian or not. And “not” means that they are going to have a wide array of lifestyles and beliefs that do not coincide with yours. Denying them any right is wrong, and the opposite of loving. I’ll reword that in a more blunt way: you are called to love like Jesus, and you are failing by voting against gay marriage.

*If you have any further questions or would like an argument addressed that you do not see here, send me an email at justsarahg@gmail.com and I will respond. Thanks!

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Christianity, Science, & Being Open-Minded

I recently came across a Facebook post discussing certain scientific concepts where somebody called one of these ideas a “lie of Satan”. And it got me thinking about the members within the Christian community who appear to be close-minded enough to denounce science and its findings- and it reminded me of what I believe to be a problem within our entire society.

One such “Christian vs Science” idea is the claim that the earth is only around 6,000 years old. I understand that this is a commonly believed idea within the Christian community. And I take a lot of issue with this, as I don’t believe there is enough- or any- evidence to support this claim. But what I don’t understand is, why do Christians believe this in the first place?

It could be said for those that believe the bible is 100% true that the bible may not be so much a play-by-play kind of book, but rather a book of highlights. For example, when “Sam” watches a football game, he gets to see each and every play of that game. But if “John” watches the highlights of the game on ESPN, he knows just the same as Sam does that the Packers beat the Bears, and that the Bears sacked Aaron Rodgers three times.

If John took the highlights and assumed they were the true play-by-play, he might also assume that the game only lasted a quarter. But that doesn’t make sense.. this is a football game. They last much longer than that. But he knows what happened during it, how it ended up, and the writers on ESPN picked for him which parts of the game were the important ones for him to know. He might wonder why they added certain pieces of information and left others out, but that is much different than speculating that it is because the information he was given was all that happened during the entire game.

Science and Christianity don’t have to disagree. In fact, the bible rarely- if ever- contradicts any scientific findings. That includes how old the earth is. If you were to interperet the bible literally, you might be able to make these assumptions and theorize that science tells us something that is in contradiction with the bible. But you can also very literally acknowledge that the bible might just as well be your book of ESPN highlights, not the football game on NBC. In which case, adding up the ages of a few people in a book do not accurately represent the age of our planet or our entire universe.

I find it extremely frustrating that there are those within the Christian community who not only don’t acknowledge that they don’t know whether this concept should be taken literally or not, they take it a step further and accuse all opposition as a blatant lie. Is this not incredibly close-minded?

I came from a household that believes a lot of the things I’m implying here, and I personally believed a lot of them as well. I used to take offense when I heard someone call my ideas close-minded. But as I’ve discovered in my recent years, that accusation was unfortunately, fairly accurate of me.

I was watching a TED Talks video recently where the speaker asked the audience, “How does it feel to be wrong?” Certain members of the audience offered up different answers, telling her that it felt bad to be wrong or that they didn’t like it. She corrected them. She said, “that’s how it feels to KNOW you’re wrong. Being wrong doesn’t feel like anything. In fact, being wrong feels exactly like being right.”

That’s a profound thought if you let it speak to you. Being wrong feels like being right. That’s because you don’t know you’re wrong. I like to think that the main difference between being close-minded and open-minded is very simply being able to make the statement, “I don’t know for sure”. And that’s something I just don’t see people practicing that today.

Although I used Christianity as an example, this close-minded epidemic extends beyond any religious or political belief, and applies to our society as a whole. If we could each within ourselves act with a little more humility about our own beliefs, I think that we would find ourselves and our counterparts less defensive and more open to each other’s ideas. And being open is the key to finding the truth.